Darlene's Reviews > Reading My Father

Reading My Father by Alexandra Styron
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May 30, 11

Read from May 19 to 30, 2011

I wanted to read this book because I am a big fan of William Styron's writing. I read Sophie's Choice and Confessions of Nat Turner and they stayed with me for a long time after reading them. I later read Darkness Visible which Styron wrote about his battle with severe depression. I found that book very honest. But when I saw that his youngest daughter, Alexandra, wrote a biography/memoir, I knew I had to read it. And as I expected, it gave a lot more insight into the man that was her father. Ms. Styron's book was at times uncomfortable to read.. Styron was not a great parent by anyone's standards. I was outraged by her description of how her father used to scare her by telling her there were deranged escaped convicts hiding in their home. Despite the dysfunction that ruled the Styron home, Ms. Styron appears to be a warm, caring and introspective person. This memoir discussed just how much a person's mental illness affects the entire family and I feel she was courageous in talking about it. This book was not a typical 'air the dirty laundry' type of memoir. It was a story of a girl who went back after her father's death and tried to put the puzzle pieces of his life together. In doing this, she came to a greater acceptance and understanding of the man that was not only a successful writer and author but also her father.
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